Preliminary Ecological Appraisal
WHAT IS A PRELIMINARY ECOLOGICAL APPRAISAL?
A preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) is the initial scoping assessment used to identify any potential ecological constraints to a project. The outcome of which will often determine recommendations for applicable survey and/or mitigation work necessary to adhere to relevant UK and European wildlife laws. Constraints may include European Protected Species, invasive species or nearby statutory designated sites.
Ecological Appraisals may be required as a planning condition before a site can be developed. Any ecological work should be factored into the project's time-scale at an early stage of planning to avoid possible delays due to seasonal constraints for survey work.
Our ecological appraisals are based on Natural England's (formally JNCC's) Phase 1 Habitat Surveys which map out existing habitats using standardised codes. This 'Extended' Phase 1 Habitat Survey provides a description and record of species of conservation concern (e.g. protected species) and suitable habitat for such species using target notes to identify such areas. A desk based study is usually undertaken to acquire information about the site and the surrounding area involving liaison with the Biodiversity Records Centres (BRCs) and local wildlife groups. This will help to understand the dynamics of the site in a wider ecological context and will often pick up on constraints that may not have been obvious with just a walk-over survey alone. The Hedgerow Evaluation and Grading System (HEGS) is included as part of the Ecological Appraisal which is a standard procedure for assessing ecologically valuable hedgerow habitat.
The outcome of an Ecological Appraisal will determine the requirements for additional ecological work if necessary. If no ecological constraints are found then further work may not be required. if you require an Ecological Appraisal, contact us and we will be happy to help, alternatively if you require a species specific survey go to Wildlife Surveys.